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Protecting Yourself in Police EncountersBeing stopped by police, getting accused of a crime, and facing the prospect of arrest is enough to cause anyone to panic. With your adrenaline running high, you could end up making poor decisions. In addition to creating additional legal problems for yourself, the actions you take during police interactions could put your life at risk. Officer-involved shootings continue to be a very real threat in California. As experienced San Jose criminal defense attorneys, we want you to be aware of the risks and the ways you need to protect yourself during police encounters. 

Officer-Involved Shooting in San Jose

An officer-involved shooting recently claimed the life of a man in San Jose. The incident happened at roughly 2:30 p.m. in the 2300 block of McKee Road. Officers were responding to multiple reports of a man with a gun in the area when they saw someone matching the suspect’s description walking near the intersection of North Jackson Avenue. 

The officers reported that they saw what looked like a gun in the suspect’s hand and immediately ordered him to stop and surrender the weapon. The man ignored the commands, put the object in his waistband, and crossed Jackson Avenue before turning north and heading in the direction of Independence High School. Police continued following him, telling him to stop and surrender the weapon. When the suspect did reach for the object in his waistband, one of the officers shot him. It was not until he was on the ground that they realized that rather than an actual weapon, the "gun" was a replica. The man, who was shot at least once, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he later died of his injuries. 

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Is the High Cost of Living Driving Theft Crimes in San Jose?San Jose, much like the entire Bay Area, has lots of diverse neighborhoods. Some of these are thriving due to high-paying jobs in the tech industry and other career fields. Residents own multi-million dollar homes or rent luxury apartments while driving luxury cars to visit upscale restaurants and shops in the area. Just a few blocks over, other neighborhoods are not quite so prosperous and residents struggle to get by on minimum wage jobs. Unfortunately, the disparity between these two groups and the generally high cost of living make theft crimes more likely to occur. 

Disparities In Income and Lifestyle Among San Jose Residents

San Jose is regularly considered one of the best places to live for individuals and families. Factors that are often cited as making it attractive for families and other residents include: 

  • High-quality schools
  • A thriving job market
  • Low commute times
  • High median incomes
  • The availability of homes that fall in line with wages

Depending on where you live in San Jose, these qualities may be keeping with what you generally experience as a resident. Unfortunately, in some neighborhoods, this list of amenities simply does not apply. 

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What Differentiates Murder from Manslaughter? Homicide, or the taking of human life, is the most severe type of crime. It could result in charges of manslaughter or murder being filed against you. If you are facing either of these, you need a strong criminal defense. With the significant differences in penalties, you need an experienced criminal law attorney on your side to conduct extensive investigations while gathering evidence for use at your trial.  

Police Unsure of Motive in San Jose Shooting

Police recently found a man who was shot on the Guadalupe River Trail in San Jose and are still trying to determine the motive and the circumstances surrounding the crime. Police were called to Virginia Street and Highway 87, where they found the man bleeding from a gunshot wound, which eventually proved fatal. His death marks the city’s 29th homicide this year and the second to occur during the course of a week. 

Another local man was fatally stabbed with a knife in the 1500 block of Alum Rock Avenue just several days prior. Police are continuing to investigate both cases and at this point are not sure if the cases involve murder or manslaughter. To date, no suspects have been named or charged. 

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What Right Do Police Have in Taking My Property if I Am Charged With a Crime?When facing criminal charges, one of the hardest things to cope with is the loss of your rights and freedoms. Few people are aware of asset forfeiture laws that allow law enforcement to seize your car, money, or other items they suspect are associated with a crime. This is particularly common in cases where drug crimes are alleged, but it can occur in other types of criminal matters as well.  

Asset Forfeiture in Criminal Cases

In criminal matters, asset forfeiture laws allow police and prosecutors to take any type of property you own if it is suspected of being involved in a crime. Under the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act, it is frequently used in drug crimes cases. There are three classifications of property or assets which may be seized:

  • Property Used in the Commission of a Crime: This includes drug paraphernalia and cars, bikes, boats, or other vehicles that may have aided in distribution.
  • The Property Associated with a Crime: This includes cash or money in bank accounts which may have been intended to fund a criminal act.
  • Property Received as a Result of a Crime: This includes any profits you made, as well as items you may have purchased with the profits.  

Federal, state, and local agencies can make significant amounts of money through asset forfeiture, which is typically funneled into areas such as crime prevention programs, victims funds, and purchasing additional equipment. However, there is plenty of controversy surrounding the practice. 

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San Jose Police Get Digital Upgrade to Counter Neighborhood CrimesResidents of San Jose have complained long and bitterly about the increasing number of neighborhood crimes taking place throughout the local area. Many home and property owners have taken matters into their own hands by installing electronic alarm systems and video monitoring to ensure their family, friends, customers, and property are protected.

In light of local crime statistics, law enforcement has recently announced a series of actions they hope will help discourage lawbreakers and make neighborhoods safer. The latest involves using digital technology to immediately download personal surveillance tapes, keeping criminal defense attorneys busy and making potential suspects easier to apprehend. 

Ring Technology May Save Time in Uncovering And Apprehending Criminal Offenders

On September 26, 2019, the San Jose Police Department announced they were getting a digital upgrade to their existing community surveillance and outreach system. They will be partnering with Ring Technology, which will allow them to have homeowners download security footage in real-time.  

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